Helsinki -FIN


Renovation of the Korkeasaari ZOO


This new zoo will speak of time immemorial, of a time when architecture was just scattered functional structures and when land was still pristine and untouched.
It will develop the cult of the instantaneous, the revelation of the fleeting, the awareness of passing time, the emotion of the seasons and finally, nature as a positive counterpoint to the urbanization of Helsinki.
This architecture / landscape will evoke a rich and diverse land that conceals a range of animal, scientific and educational discoveries. Our most current knowledge, our cutting edge technologies will be expressed for the pleasure and curiosity of visitors young and old.
How do we render this meeting between two aesthetic worlds, born of the unlikely telescoping of modernity and eternity ?
The zoological island of Korkeasaari will be cut off again. Its architectural interventions will be concentrated to make it wild and mysterious once more – a park / garden as a place of popular privilege, the nobility of the future city.
Architecture disappears in favour of controlled geography, like the resurgence of a neighbouring landscape. The entrance grouping the set of utilities crucial to the running of the zoo becomes a focus of visual identity, somewhere between form and
shapelessness,pierced with cavities. Like layers of skin peeled back to receive an implant, there will be an above and a below that dialogue and interpenetrate one another. Areas of light, uncertainty, reflections and depths will be developed, offering the first emotions of a visit that will play on time and the seasons through four biozones :

- Central Asian Steppe
- Arctic Pole
- Asian Temperate Forest
- Central Asian Mountain

The zoo will draw man, animals and plants into a dialogue through colours, smells and the immersion of our body in the body of nature. We would like the zoo to be a place of sensuous and educational experiences as well as physiological
– a place where you discover nature at the same time as your own nature; the setting of an interaction between man and animals.
Artifice / Nature is chosen in an intriguing, mysterious, attractive strategy of shifting perspective in the service of the animals and their well-being to become the icon of a new cultural and scientific life in Helsinki.

Client : Ville d’HELSINKI
Directeur de projet : jean-christophe NANI
Project Manager : guillaume Derien
Team : Architecte Mandataire : Aldrick Beckmann et Françoise N’Thépé / Zoologue Jean-Marc LERNOULD
Surface : 27 ha
Year : 2009